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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Why I Love Nature: Today's Reason




"Fact of the Day: sunflower

Sunflower heads consist of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base. The large petals around the edge of a sunflower head are individual ray flowers which do not develop into seed. A sunflower is ready to harvest when the back portion of the head turns brown. Floating rafts of sunflowers were used to clean up water contaminated by the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the former Soviet Union. The roots of the sunflower plants removed 95% of the radioactivity in the water by pulling contaminants out of the water."

Source:

Saturday July 27, 2013: Reference.com On This Day

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ray Begovich: How I Found Rare Footage of FDR in a Wheelchair | History News Network

Ray Begovich: How I Found Rare Footage of FDR in a Wheelchair | History News Network

Fascinating...

When the whole world looks in and at, not out....

Surely one of the more horrifying developments in modern society. We already have a nation of people who only look at their devices and not at each other.

Now we face the prospect of EVERYTHING filtered and mediated by a device. Talk about self-absorption!

Google Glass....


Gray Matter
Is Google Glass Dangerous?



A solution for an ethical person observing non-ethical behavior run rampant?

I have a pet peeve about certain behaviors that is slowly growing into a personal ethical firestorm of disgust...but cannot post about since I have already seen the backlash from simply, quietly commenting about such things to folks I think (thought) of as friends. So I will merely observe and perhaps I will make the folks I see behaving this way characters in my book...getting their just rewards, perhaps? As Bob Ross used to say, "it's your world...paint it the way you want it " ;-D

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Storyboarding in the Night

So, starting a new book is always a daunting thing. I've started my third book, but it's a total departure for me. Well, maybe not so total; I have written short stories and even won a writing contest with my first and only submission to such things. (Someday I'll tell you about that...)


This time, I'm trying my hand at longer fiction. During our creative retreat last year, I drew up an entire outline for a fictional book. Needless to say, almost a year later, my outline is almost totally scrapped. Writing fiction is difficult, since the usual structures I have in place for writing history are almost non-applicable.


So far, I think I have worked out a good idea but the structure is still eluding me somewhat. I think what I need to do, perhaps, is storyboard it, as if it was a film project. So far I've got...the opening, establishing shot done.....

\\\



......NOW WHAT?

What is a Historian? Discuss...

There was a discussion (well, there are ALWAYS discussions!) about the role of, function of, definition of a Historian on LinkedIn recently.



Here's my take...

Historians endlessly and continuously evaluate the context of past events, guarding against presentism . They must have thorough professional training in the tools of the trade, ie. research techniques and a broad knowledge of the scholarship that has been done. Without the training, you cannot properly evaluate the research you gather. Period.

Historians must utilize, stringently, the indispensable striving towards objectivity which historical perspective can afford, and which demands an understanding of the "large picture". It is having this larger picture in mind which contributes to the body of knowledge.

Finally, a true historian must adhere to high standards of personal honesty, integrity, and emotional and intellectual courage, reporting results of research wherever the research leads and what is revealed, irregardless of their own familial, personal, political, or economic loyalties.

A historian ALSO publishes these evaluations for the benefit of, discussion and study by, the community of scholars --- hopefully, of the public as well. The best history has work to do in the world.

"History buffs," antique collectors/antiquarians, tour guides, folks doing their own genealogy, etc. etc. are NOT historians, despite what they may believe about their hobbies...although those activities may LEAD, eventually, to becoming a trained, professional historian.


Well, whaddya think?

The MFA and the Songbird

The MFA...(she breathes a sigh of contentment). http://www.mfa.org/


If there is a more luscious place in the Boston area in which to spend an "art day" with your one-and-only, I simply don't know it. I go to "Art in Bloom" every year if I can....





Jim and I also recently visited and viewed the exhibit on Samurai warriors....ok, Seriously now, Are these guys available for hire to help me walk through some of the scariest parts of Boston at night... Or in Salem anytime anytime during October?

Betcha THEY could get people who stand smoking under the NO SMOKING SIGNS to stop it...quick!